Apple further advances emergency response

by Hfbtech

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During their launch event this week, Apple announced the arrival of the latest iPhone and Apple Watches, which feature a series of transformative new emergency response features.

The new safety features, ranging from automobile crash detection and emergency SOS via satellite, present a massive opportunity for first responders and emergency call centers to leverage new data and save lives.

Didn’t get a chance to follow the announcement live? See below for a quick recap and breakdown of Apple’s newly announced emergency response features.


Featuring Lives Saved

Apple CEO Tim Cook kicked off the launch event with stories in which Apple Watch has communicated with first responders across the country to help save lives.

Lives Saved Video

The event then transitioned to highlight additional emergency response features.


Crash Detection

The latest Apple iPhones and Watch will automatically detect a car crash and notify 911 by connecting via voice and passing data into 911.

Crash Detection

  • When Apple Watch detects a severe car crash, the device will check in with the user and dial 911 if they are
    unresponsive after a 10-second countdown.
  • ECCs will receive the user’s device location, which can also be shared with the user’s emergency contacts.
  • When a severe car crash is detected, the 911 call interface will appear on Apple Watch, as it is most likely to be
    in closer proximity to the user, while the call is placed through iPhone if it is in range for the best possible
  • This feature will be available on the new iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8.

Learn more on Apple’s website.


Emergency SOS via satellite

Additionally, the latest Apple iPhone 14 will have the ability to send an Emergency SMS via satellite when users are out of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.


  • Emergency SOS via satellite can help users connect with emergency services under exceptional circumstances, when no other means of reaching emergency services are available.
  • If a user calls or texts emergency services and can’t connect because they are outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, their iPhone will try to connect them via satellite to emergency services.
  • According to Apple, connectivity can take 15 seconds to up to a minute to send based on satellite visibility.
  • The service will only be available in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada and Apple cautions that Emergency SOS via satellite might not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska.
  • The emergency message will be transmitted to SMS capable ECCs via SMS. ECCs that are not yet text capable will receive a phone call from a voice relay center.
  • Emergency SOS via satellite will be available on iPhone 14 with an iOS 16 software update coming in November 2022.

Learn more on Apple’s website.

We have heard countless stories from our ECC partners where Apple devices and information available on the RapidSOS Platform (location, health/medical info, etc.) has helped first responders save lives. We are excited about how Apple’s new features will give people more ways of getting help and provide first responders with more information when it matters most.

We will continue to update this blog post with more information on how ECC’s and first responders are leveraging this data in their workflows and will provide more detailed information to RapidSOS users in the RapidSOS Portal Training Center.